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Felt and basketry

Felt and basketry

This is a guest post by Kim Winter of Flextiles.

Some of you may know that as well as being a felter I have recently developed an interest in basketry. Given that I love making 3D vessels and sculptural felt, this is probably no great surprise!

My preferred method at the moment is random weaving, as I love the organic, freeform texture of this technique. After starting with cane, I moved on to work with paper yarn, which I like much better. I think my textile background has instilled a preference for softer materials! 😉

I can also dye the paper with indigo or other natural dyes, like this piece dyed with eucalyptus. And untwisting the ends of the paper produces some delicate feathery effects.

I had the idea of combining felting with random weaving after seeing a photo of a cape gooseberry.

cape gooseberry

I thought that if the orange fruit in the centre was made from felt, it would make an interesting contrast with the paper carapace. So I wove the paper case, leaving a hole at the top, and then inserted a small orange felt sphere and stitched the two together with very fine fishing line. I then finished the top with some twining and a little tassel.

felt and paper cape gooseberry
Photo: Owen Llewellyn

I decided to develop this further into a submission for an exhibition with the theme of “fragility”. With widespread concern about the human effects on our fragile environment, I read that scientists at Kew Gardens estimate that one in five plant species are in danger of extinction due to activities such as intensive farming, deforestation and construction.

So the idea for my piece, called “One in Five”, was to make five stylised seeds combining felt and paper yarn, to represent the fragility of the environment in general as well as their own precarious existence.

The second pod I made was based on a sycamore seed. I needlefelted the two seeds first before wet felting them, and then wove the paper wings around them.

felt and paper sycamore seed
Photo: Owen Llewellyn

I used a similar technique for the third seed, which was based on a bean pod.

felt and paper bean pod
Photo: Owen Llewellyn

The fourth seed was slightly different – no random weaving was involved. Instead, I wrapped several strands of paper yarn together, feathered the separate ends, and covered the wrapped ends with felt to resemble a dandelion seed.

It was a bit tricky to felt around the paper without making it soggy and droopy. So I ended up applying some matt varnish to the paper to protect it before felting, which worked a treat.

felt and paper dandelion seed
Photo: Owen Llewellyn

The fifth and last seed was the most difficult. I wanted to make a spiky seed case, a bit like a chestnut, but it was tricky to work out how. I eventually made a random weave sphere and then looped short lengths of paper yarn all over it. I started feathering all the ends, but then decided that the overall effect was too much and that I should just feather a few randomly. So I had to reloop quite a few bits of yarn!

felt and paper spiky seedcase
Photo: Owen Llewellyn

Having finished making the seeds, I had to decide on the best way to display them. They would obviously look better suspended rather than lying on a flat surface, but in one of the galleries where this exhibition will be displayed we cannot hang things from the ceiling.

One of the other advantages of felt and paper is that they are both very light materials – each of the seeds weighs only a few grams. So I thought I could somehow mount a branch on a wall and hang them from that.

I spent days looking for the perfect branch. Luckily, we’ve had a few blustery days recently, so there has been no shortage of branches, even on London pavements! I finally found one that’s not too heavy, is an interesting shape and has some lovely lichen.

branch

So then it was off to a photographer friend, Owen Llewellyn, to take some pictures that would hopefully wow the selectors and persuade them to accept my submission. After experimenting with three different backdrops we finally went for a plain grey background, though there also some interesting experimental shadow pics!

five seeds on branch
Photo: Owen Llewellyn
dandelion seed with shadow
Photo: Owen Llewellyn
bean pod with shadow
Photo: Owen Llewellyn

Anyway, it clearly worked, as I have just heard that my submission has been accepted for the exhibition, which will be on display in London at the end of May and Birmingham in October. Phew!

Out of the box Part 3

Out of the box Part 3

This is the 3rd and final set of pictures from this exhibit. http://mvtm.ca/?exhibition=colour-unboxed   the first is here:  https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2017/01/18/colour-unboxed-by-out-of-the-box/ and the second here: https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2017/01/26/out-of-the-box-part-2/ Again I apologise for some of the odd angles as it was very crowded with people enjoying the exhibit. In the last picture you may find it hard to see but the is a very long weaving draped across  the ceiling.

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My Felt in the Guild Exhibition

My Felt in the Guild Exhibition

My  guild exhibition opened on Wednesday. we had a vernissage  Thursday evening.

guild show

I can now show you the hat I have been working on for ages. First I had to make a prototype, modeled her by my son. It was how to make, attach and manage the horns that I needed to work out.

prototype 1 web prototype 2 web

Very Monty Python to me.

The finished hat looks like this

hat on display

I will do a post about making it in the near future.

I also have some pictures in the exhibition.

pictures hanging

 

picture hanging

I think they look great hanging. You can get an idea of how big the Cityscape is in the hat picture, it is in the back ground .

Here are some of the other things in the exhibition.

colapsable weave lace shawl

Collapsible weave scarf and a lace shawl hand spun and knit.

shawl shawl close up

Hand woven shawl and close up of the pattern.

hand dyed, spun and knit handspun and knitting

Hand dyed, hand spun and hand knit. hand spun and hand knit art yarns.

pillows from hands woven fabric mettal weaving

Pillows from handwoven fabric. Hand woven metal wall hanging.

 

 

 

 

Call For Entries

Call For Entries

My fiber arts group, Tangled, A Montana Arts Collective, is sponsoring a fiber arts exhibition at my store The Purple Pomegranate in Whitefish, Montana during October. The theme for the exhibition is Shelter and I cordially invite you to apply for the exhibition. I know that lots of our readers do not reside in the US but you are also invited to apply. You would be responsible for the shipping to and from the exhibition so it probably isn’t that practical but I don’t want to exclude international entries.

The information about the exhibition is below and if you have any questions just let me know. You can download the information and an application form here.

Call for Artist’s Submission of Entries:

Announcing:  Tangled Fibers Show—A Fiber-Arts Collection

When: Month of October, 2013

Where:  The Purple Pomegranate, Whitefish MT

Artists are invited to submit applications and jpg photos for a Fall Presentation Exhibit at The Purple Pomegranate Gallery in Whitefish, Montana.

Submission Deadline:  August 15, 2013, for October 1, 2013 Exhibit opening.

Theme of Exhibit:  Shelter.  Shelter is one of the basic needs for all living creatures.  What constitutes shelter?  Is it an actual structure or metaphysical?  From the lowliest tent to a mansion, shelter exists in many forms and has many different meanings.  What does shelter mean to you?

Guidelines for Artist’s submission:

  1. Size:  Each piece of work must fit within 36” long, and 24” wide exhibit space.  It may be 3-D in form. Art must fit through a standard size door.
  2. All art must be an original piece of work, not shown prior to this show and created in the last two years. Artists may submit from 1 to 3 fiber works for the one time, non-refundable application fee of $20.00.
  3. Each piece should be priced for retail sale, with 40% commission being retained from sale of work.
  4. Art must be stable and be easily displayed on a wall or pedestal that supports a maximum of 20 pounds.  No perishable organic material. Art must be structurally sound.  Each submission should be able to be hung from one point of reference on the wall, portable or permanent or placed on a pedestal.  Included with submission should be instructions for hanging or display.
  5. Artist must submit an artist statement, with the application.  Statement must be in context with the theme, Shelter.
  6. Artist will need to submit proof of insurance coverage OR release the Purple Pomegranate from any liability related to harm of the art. Artist is responsible for shipping or delivering the work to the Purple Pomegranate and for sending a prepaid return label FedEx/UPS for pieces to be shipped back to artist.
  7. Jurying: The jury process will include a panel of judges reviewing jpg photos sent by e-mail. Submissions that do not follow rules of entry will not be submitted to jurors. Only entries received by August 15, 2013 will be considered. Works selected for exhibition that are not accurately depicted by jpgs may be removed from the exhibit at juror’s discretion. Works selected are to be available for the entire exhibit. E-mail notification of acceptance will occur by September 15, 2013. Delivery of work September 25-27, 2013. Pick up work  November 1-3, 2013.

As a side note, the piece of green nuno felt that I showed you last week is for my entry for this exhibition. I still have a long way to go on the piece but I have begun and I’m excited about the possibilities 🙂

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